Langston Hughes: Folk Dramatist in the Protest Tradition, 1921-1943

By Joseph McLaren | Go to book overview
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Derived from the short story of the same name, Mother and Child as a play shows how Hughes transformed his fictional work into a short drama. The short story is suited to dramatic rendering because it is primarily written in dialogue. One significant transformation, however, is in the closing hymn. In the short story, the hymn contains the lyric Ring a golden bell for me," more of an ironic counterpoint to the gossip. 65 In the play, the lyrics relate directly to resistance.

Sam Smiley, The Drama of Attack: Didactic Plays of the American Depression ( Columbia: U of Missouri P, 1972) 37.
Arnold Rampersad, The Life of Langston Hughes, Vol. I: 1902-1941, I, Too, Sing America ( New York: Oxford UP, 1986) 236-38; Leslie Catherine Sanders , The Development of Black Theater in America: From Shadows to Selves ( Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1988) 97. Langston Hughes, letter to Carl Van Vechten, 16 May 1932, Carl Van Vechten Papers, Beinecke Library, Yale University.
Hughes also credits The Associated Negro Press for permission to publish certain poems contained in the Golden Stair Press 1932 edition. "Restaging Langston Hughes' Scottsboro Limited: An Interview with Amiri Baraka", Black Scholar July-Aug. 1979: 62. Workers Theatre offered "group recitations on the Scottsboro case" titled Scottsboro, available in German, Yiddish and Yugoslavian. A play titled Scottsboro was staged by the West Philadelphia Cultural Center and the Philadelphia Dramatic Council. See Workers Theatre June- July 1932: n. pag.; Aug. 1932: 18. Other left wing theatre groups were Workers Laboratory Theatre and Shock Troupe.
It's Up to You, from Scottsboro Limited, adapted by Ben Shangold for the NAACP in Cleveland, Ohio, ts., cat. #3860, LHP-YUBL.
Margaret Brenman-Gibson, Clifford Odets: American Playwright ( New York: Atheneum, 1981) 304.
Dan T. Carter, Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South, rev. ed. ( Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1979) 3-6, 7-8. The black males involved in the case were Clarence Norris, Olen Montgomery, Ozie Powell, Haywood Patterson, Willie Roberson, Charlie Weems, Eugene Williams, Roy and Andy Wright.
Clarence Norris and Sybil D. Washington, The Last of the Scottsboro Boys: An Autobiography ( New York: G. P. Putnam, 1979) 249-55. These pages contain a Chronological Record of the Scottsboro Case." The work is based on the story of Clarence Norris, one of the black males accused and convicted. The text contains letters and documents concerning the trial. Another of the texts credited to one of the black males is Haywood Patterson Scottsboro Boy ( New York: Collier, 1950).
Carter3-6, 7-8.
Norris and Washington21.


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Langston Hughes: Folk Dramatist in the Protest Tradition, 1921-1943


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